David Letterman knows that no one likes his wild beard, and he’s OK with that.
“I used to say, every day, ‘I am so sick and tired of shaving.’ … And I just thought, the first thing I will do when I am not on TV is stop shaving. And everybody hates it. My wife hates it. My son hates it. But it’s interesting. I’ve kind of developed a real creepy look with it that I’m sort of enjoying. And I can tell that people are off-put by it. And the more people implore me to shave, the stronger my resolve is to not shave,” Letterman told the Whitefish Review in a wide-ranging interview about his life since leaving showbiz.
The comedian added that he doesn’t care what anyone thinks of his new look.
“And I know, it’s not a good-looking beard. But I don’t even care. I just don’t care. And it’s kind of fun—well, I won’t say that it’s fun to walk around irritating people, I think I’ve proved that on TV¬—but it’s sort of amusing to see the reactions.”
Letterman, who has shied away from the limelight since his retirement from the “Late Show” in May, also reflected on the importance of his former job as a late-night TV host. He said he feels “foolish” for thinking his job was so important.
“…You believe that what you are doing is of great importance and that it is affecting mankind wall-to-wall. And then when you get out of it you realize, oh, well, that wasn’t true at all. (laughter) It was just silliness… I realized, geez, I don’t think I care that much about television anymore. I feel foolish for having been misguided by my own ego for so many years.”
In fact, these days, Letterman doesn’t even watch that much TV. He said he mostly just tunes in to the news.
“I’m like the idiots who always used to come up to me—and I knew they were lying…. They’d say, ‘Yeah, well, geez I can’t stay up late enough to watch your show,’ and I’d think, you’re lying, you’re just lying. But I’m like that guy now. I can’t stay up late enough to watch TV. I like to be in bed right around 10. Anything that happens after 10, I’m not there.”
Letterman said he hasn’t missed his “Late Show” gig.
“I can remember the first day that Stephen Colbert took over—put his [new] show on the air. I thought I would have some trouble, some emotional trouble, or some feeling of displacement, but I realized, hey, that’s not my problem anymore… So I haven’t missed it, the way I thought I might… I’ll be 69 next year and I’ve been doing this for 33 years. What did I want? Like you work until you’re a hundred? So there’s a lot of practical reasons why a person wouldn’t miss this.”